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Hon Chris Finlayson QC

Minister Responsible for the GCSB
Minister in Charge of the NZSIS

26 May 2016

Government invests in New Zealand's security

The Budget will enable our security agencies to remain effective in a rapidly-evolving security environment, NZSIS and GCSB Minister Christopher Finlayson says.

The New Zealand Intelligence Community (NZIC) will receive new operating and capital funding of $178.7 million over four years as part of Budget 2016.

“A fundamental responsibility of the Government is to protect the safety of New Zealanders,” Mr Finlayson says.

“New Zealand is not immune to global threats such as cyber-attacks and the risks posed by extremist groups such as ISIL. Proper resourcing is critical in an increasingly complex international and domestic security landscape.”

A two-year strategic capability resourcing review has analysed the Government's security and intelligence requirements and confirmed that significant investment is needed for the NZIC to remain effective.

“This investment helps ensure the NZIC meets the Government's priorities and the expectations of the public,” Mr Finlayson says. “It strengthens the essential capabilities and security services of the NZSIS and the GCSB, such as protective security, counter-terrorism and information assurance.

“This investment allows significant staff recruitment and further extends the NZSIS's ability to respond to the threat from foreign terrorist fighters. The National Assessments Bureau, which independently assesses New Zealand's national security for the Government, also receives part of this funding.

“Along with appropriate resourcing, it is vital that the NZIC operates within the right legislative framework and with proper oversight. The Government is considering its response to the independent review of intelligence and security, which has made recommendations in relation to these matters.”

Media contact: Lucy Askew 021 823 649

Editors note:

Vote Communications Security and Intelligence also includes significant funding ($120.2 million over four years) for a major upgrade of the all-of-government high-grade cryptographic infrastructure (CPMI) that ensures classified government communications are secure. The current infrastructure is operated by GCSB for a number of government agencies. Funding for the project was set aside as part of Budget 2015, subject to preparation of an implementation business case, which was approved by ministers in March 2016 and now appears in the Estimates for the first time.

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